Owner Toolkit


New to Renting

Congratulations on your decision to rent out your home! We're here to make sure that the entire HomeAway experience is a great one for both you and your guests.

How it Works

Good news — it turns out, renting your home doesn't have to be hard work. Here's how it will go:

  1. As soon as your listing goes live, you can begin to receive inquiries from travelers interested in renting your property. You can easily manage your inquiries through your Dashboard (see the "Get to Know Your Dashboard" tab).
  2. You will communicate with potential guests via phone, email, or the "Inquiries" tab in your Dashboard to coordinate dates, rates, and booking details.
  3. Once you and your guest are satisfied with the arrangements,  you will have them sign a rental agreement and pay for their stay through HomeAway Payments or another payment method of your choice.
See how easy it is?

Get Started

Now that you understand the process, let's get your listing and rental in gear:

Get Your Listing Up and Running

The great thing about sites like HomeAway and VRBO is that thousands of people search it every day. This means that as soon as you create a listing with all of the basic requirements, your home will be out there for the world to see. In order for your site to go live, be sure to include:

  • Your location
  • A headline
  • A description
  • Your contact info
  • At least one photo
  • The property type and maximum number of guests
  • At least one line of rate information
  • Available dates

Build your listing>

Set the Right Rates

To set a reasonable price, look around at similar properties and even hotels nearby. And don't forget to do the math on what you need to cover your costs and amenities. To make the most of your property, consider price changes for peak seasons, minimum stays, and holiday rates.

Always Check Your Messages

Once someone is interested, you'll receive a phone call or email inquiry. You can also see inquiries on your HomeAway dashboard from the Inquiries tab, and can respond either via email or through the site. Whether your property is available or not, it's always a good idea to respond. This is also a good time to discuss rates and confirm that you're both aligned on availability and payment.

Sign on the Dotted Line

After a match is made, you'll seal the deal with a rental agreement that outlines everything from terms and conditions to cost, expectations, and reservation dates. You'll also schedule your first payment and confirm a timetable for the remaining payment.

Prepare Your Property

Before your first guest arrives, you'll want to make sure your property is ready to go. This includes stocking up on expected items, leaving instructions regarding how things work, stating check-in and check-out policies, and lining up a cleaning service for between guests. Remember, some guests will be used to staying in hotels and might expect a hair dryer, ironing board and other amenities, so if you have these, it's a good idea to let them know. Once guests arrive, the only thing you need to do is leave contact info in case any major questions arise.

How to Get Paid

Owners can accept checks, and credit cards, but many prefer HomeAway Payments, a handy service that allows you to accept online payments, charges smaller fees than PayPal and helps listings stand out more. HomeAway Payments also simplifies the process of dealing with multiple renters, security deposits (which should be returned within 30 days after a stay), and other complexities.

Request a Review

Congratulations on your successful entry into home renting! If you've followed our simple steps, we feel confident that your experience will be a positive one — and so will your visitors'. This brings us to the final step: request the review that will attract your next guest!  Simply click the Reviews tab of your dashboard and follow the instructions to get reviews from past guests.

Pro Tips

Now that you've got the basics down, here are some tips to help your listing stand out.

The Perfect Listing
When building your listing, there are the "must haves" and then there are the golden nuggets that will convince your prospective visitors that you are the one.  We've partnered with Gogobot to allow you to post photos and list the gems that make your place unique with an Insider Guide, from proximity to the best restaurants to your secret path down to the beach.  Be sure to add one to your HomeAway and VRBO listings.

The Ideal Guest
Remember that it's your home, and you get to decide who rents it. Keep on the lookout for anything that doesn't feel like it would lead to a successful renting experience for either you or the renter. If you are a savvy Internet searcher, you may even want to do a little research before confirming a guest.

In Between
Remember to leave enough room in between stays to allow plenty of time for a high quality cleaning crew to come in and press the "reset" button. Set up that cleaning service for success — supply them with a checklist of everything that must be done before the next visitors arrive.